decolonize your kid's bookshelf

By Academia Nut

By Academia Nut

Great books with main characters who are black or indigenous people of color, and some books that help spark conversations about racism with young people. These are tried & true, and adored by my own kids (aged 4 and 6). All proceeds from this shop will go toward the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books.

Alfie: (the Turtle That Disappeared)

Thyra Heder

$17.95 $16.51

My kids love this book. It's funny, and sweet, and it's simply about a little girl and her pet turtle. The main character happens to be Black. I love books that make it possible for kids to connect over shared interest (who doesn't love turtles?) with characters who may not look like them.

Ada Twist, Scientist

Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

$18.99 $17.47

Ada Twist is a brilliant young scientist whose passion for asking questions sometimes gets her into trouble. Both my boys love this book for its whimsical illustrations, its spunky main character and the introduction to scientific method.

When We Were Alone

David A Robertson and Julie Flett

$19.95 $18.35

Introduces the painful history of off-reservation boarding schools, and how connection to culture and family can provide both comfort and resilience.

Last Stop on Market Street

Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson

$18.98 $17.46

Explores themes of belonging, service, and gratitude with gorgeous and accessible language.

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal

$18.99 $17.47

Displays the diversity of Native families, and how they can connect over the shared joy of cooking - in particular, fry bread, which takes different forms across different Native communities. Includes a recipe!

Jabari Jumps

Gaia Cornwall

$15.99 $14.71

Julián Is a Mermaid

Jessica Love

$16.99 $15.63

Beautiful story of love, acceptance, and creativity across the gender expression spectrum.

Skin Again

Bell Hooks and Chris Raschka

$12.99 $11.95

A little abstract, and perhaps better for younger kids to start talking about what skin color means, and doesn't mean, about a person.

Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness

Anastasia Higginbotham

$18.95 $17.43

Full disclosure: my kids don't love this one. Not because they're afraid of the conversation, but because it's geared toward an older child, and I don't think they connect with it as much. I am going to continue to read it with them anyway.

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World

Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger

$17.99 $16.55

Multiple opportunities to discuss racism over time through the stories of Harriet Tubman, Ruby Bridges, and more.

Little Humans

$17.99 $16.55

My kids love looking through all the pictures of real kids who reflect the diversity of New York City.

I Am Harriet Tubman

Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos

$15.99 $14.71